Gavin Cromwell will saddle his first runner at Nottingham on Tuesday when Sunset Shiraz undertakes a raiding mission on the British EBF Nottinghamshire Oaks Stakes.
Although the daughter of Time Test has only won once in her 11-race career, she has performed with real credit in some competitive races - placing at Group and Listed level four times at two and going close in two of her three outings last season. She now tries 10 furlongs for only the second time following a pleasing return at the Curragh in March and her handler envisages no issues with the step up in trip. "The soft ground shouldn't be an issue for her and although she hasn't gone that far on this ground before, she's a year older and hopefully she will get the trip OK," said Cromwell. "She should be fine over 10 furlongs. She had a nice first run back and we were happy enough. If she has come on for that, hopefully she will be thereabouts. "She's been placed in some very good races, we would love to win again with her but she's really consistent. I've never been there (Nottingham) before but I'm looking forward to it." Sir Michael Stoute has won this twice in recent years with Sun Maiden (2019) and Noon Star (2022) and this time relies upon the upwardly mobile Crystal Caprice - a Frankel filly out of a Listed-winning sister to Crystal Ocean and Hillstar. William Haggas' Golden Lyra acquitted herself well last season before signing off with victory at Saint-Cloud in a Listed race, while Charlie Appleby's Musidora second Life Of Dreams and Roger Varian's Mukaddamah add further depth to the Listed contest. Simon and Ed Crisford's Misty Dancer embarked on a three-race winning run last summer before disappointing in the Gillies Fillies' Stakes at Doncaster and is given a second chance to test her mettle at this level on her reappearance. "Misty Dancer will like the ground at Nottingham as the rain that has come gives her every chance," said Ed Crisford. "Although proving versatile winning on three different types of going, she wants some cut in the ground. "The horse has been working really well at home and is making more progress than we expected, which is promising ahead of her first run of the season. "These Listed races are always very deep and wide-open contests but we fancy our chances to at least run into the frame."
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